June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

City manager field down to 5

Brunswick City Council has narrowed the field to five finalists for the job of city manager. The post has been vacant since August, when Jim Lukas resigned.

Three Ohio men, including Brunswick Service Director Pat McNamara, were brought in for interviews Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Next week, Council will interview two applicants from out of state.

“The idea is to narrow it down to two by the end of the month and make a decision,” said Vice Mayor Vince Carl, who also represents Ward 2.

McNamara applied for the position in the last round earlier in the year, but didn’t make it to the top of that pool of more than 50 candidates. The new round included about 35 applicants.

McNamara has been service director since 2011. Before that he served as a councilman from 2005 to his appointment as service director. He has professional experience working for the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office — 1980 to 2011 — where he served as a bridge inspector and district superintendent.

The four other applicants being interviewed are:

• Anthony Bales, of Hudson. He works as an economic development specialist for the city of Kent. He served as city manager in Hudson from 2006 to 2013. He has worked in the city administration field since 1994 and holds a degree in public administration.

• Robert Bruner, of Michigan. He served as city manager of Birmingham, Mich., from 2011 until February. He also has served as city manager in Ferndale, Mich., and assistant city manager of Ypsilanti, Mich.

• Michael Ciaravino, of Strongsville. He served as mayor of Maple Heights from 2003 to 2007. Ciaravino, an attorney, also has served as safety director for Maple Heights and worked in the law department at Maple Heights for more than 10 years.

• Jane Howington, of Newport, R.I. She has served as city manager for the city of Newport since 2012. She has served as city manager for the city of Kalispell, Mont., and Oxford, Ohio, from 2000 to 2007. Prior to her job in Oxford, she served as planning director for the city. She also served for two years as assistant city manager for operations in Dayton.

Last fall, the city hired Management Partners to conduct a search for a new city manager following the resignation of Lukas.

In December, Council members voted 4-3 to hire former Steubenville city manager Cathy Davison.

The vote failed because a super-majority of Council was required to appoint a new city manager. The three Council members who voted “no” said they preferred another candidate over Davison.

Council started the search process again in January. Since August, Police Chief Carl DeForest has served as city manager.

“I’m optimistic the process will go well this time around and we can get a new manager,” DeForest said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.